IMC Newsdesk

Withings raises $60m to advance preventative medicine

  • August 11, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

French wearables company Withings, which spun out of Nokia Health two years ago, has raised $60m in a series B round to invest in products and data services for more personalised preventive medicine.
 
Having led a shift in the way consumers and physicians interact by enabling accurate and regular patient generated data collection, Withings says it will capitalise on this investment to solidify its position as an intermediary between patients and healthcare professionals. It will continue to invest in products and data services that help deliver more personalised, continuous and preventive medicine.
 
“I strongly believe in technology’s ability to transform society’s health by allowing anyone to regularly monitor their vitals from home and involve health professionals in this process,” said Eric Carreel, president and co-founder of Withings. “Today, we are in an exciting time where medicine is becoming personalised, continuous and based on data analysis, and I am proud Withings is at the heart of this revolution. With funding from like-minded partners, we can scale our efforts globally and continue to invest in new technologies and AI tools that can detect and predict medical conditions.”
 
The company will invest funds to scale globally its dedicated business-to-business division Med Pro that serves health professionals, and accelerate the development of consumer health devices that bring medical grade and predictive capabilities into the home. It also plans to add 100 new positions in the USA and France by the end of the year to strengthen its teams working on research and development, sales, and marketing.
 
Withings has built an ecosystem of connected, non-invasive health devices by reinventing everyday objects and endowing them with medical powers: a scale that measures arterial stiffness; an analogue watch that detects cardiac arrhythmias; a blood pressure monitor that detects valvular heart diseases; and an under-mattress sleep tracker that detects sleep apnoea.
 
With over 45 technical patents, the Withings portfolio captures more than 20 vital health parameters including blood pressure, ECG, weight, pulse wave velocity, heart rate, activity levels, sleep apnoea and sleep patterns.
 
With people spending most of their time outside the doctor’s office, at-home health monitors not only give consumers more control over their health, they have potential for doctors, hospitals and researchers. Having remote and regular access to precise medical-grade data allows professionals to offer more personalised, intelligent and responsive care.
 
Withings launched Med Pro last year. This dedicated business-to-business division allows medical professionals, institutions, payers, disease management programmes, coaching platforms and researchers to leverage Withings devices and data analytics within their own ecosystems. With this extra funding, Withings will grow this division. It offers remote patient and telemedicine services for dedicated health programmes that manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart health, sleep and weight management.
 
In addition, Med Pro aids academic and pharma research, having been involved in over 100 clinical and academic studies by organisations such as Mayo Clinic, Harvard University, European Georges Pompidou Hospital, American Medical Group Association and Scripps Health. This also includes a current research initiative with the cardiology department at the University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilian’s University of Munich, Germany, which is integrating its soon to be launched ScanWatch into a Covid-19 patient monitoring project. The ScanWatch can track blood oxygen saturation and heart rhythm by wrist measurements.
 
With this investment, Withings aims to invent consumer health devices that will track new biomarkers and bring medical-grade, predictive capabilities into the home.
 
“This is an important milestone for Withings,” said Mathieu Letombe, CEO of Withings. “We have combined technology and medical science during the past ten years to create an unrivalled portfolio of devices that continually and accurately measure a vast array of health parameters. With the healthcare industry increasingly embracing this technology and data, it has enthusiastically turned to Withings as a natural partner. Our devices enjoy some of the highest retention levels, cover more health vitals and work with more operating platforms than any other player in the business. The new influx of funding and medical expertise will help us bring even more exciting solutions to the market, making the possibilities for the next ten years boundless.”
 
The investment round was co-led by healthcare investment specialist Gilde Healthcare, and long-term Withings partners and investors Idinvest Partners and BPI France through their venture funds as well as support from BNP Paribas, Oddo BHF Private Equity and Adelie Capital.
 
“With telemedicine on the rise, and the wider health industry’s growing need to collect and analyse accurate, reliable patient data, Withings is in a unique position to thrive and is an attractive investment for us,” said Edwin de Graaf, managing partner at Gilde Healthcare. “We look forward to working with the Withings team as they continue to redefine how patients and physicians interact.” 
 
Benoit Grossman, managing partner at Idinvest Partners, added: “Withings has demonstrated its leadership in creating elegantly designed connected health devices that millions of consumers want and continue to use. We’ve worked with the company since its infancy and are excited to be part of it as it enters this new era of opportunity.”